Research and Technical Positions

ISI offers a prestigious, intellectually vibrant environment on both coasts. As a world-class institution, we combine the best of major research universities and industry research-and-development labs. The result is a flexible, cross-disciplinary working environment in which information scientists can explore the subjects that intrigue them most, anywhere on the basic-to-fully-applied research spectrum.

Academic Advantages

As a unit of USC’s highly ranked Viterbi School of Engineering, ISI provides the independence of an academic setting, along with a lengthy history of federal research support. Individuals are encouraged to seek funding for their research priorities and to pursue that work as fully as their resources allow.

Researchers who enjoy collaborating with students may engage USC Viterbi master's and Ph.D. candidates as research assistants. ISI professionals also may be considered for Research Faculty appointments, enabling them to teach courses in computer science, electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, astronautics and aerospace, material science and other fields.

Industry Appeal

Conversely, ISI resembles corporate labs in its emphasis on projects and systems, along with a leadership commitment to collaborative efforts. Researchers often work closely with ISI colleagues in different disciplines, in departments on USC’s main campus, and at other institutions. Our people also can move beyond pure research to work directly with real-world technology users.

We hire talented researchers, engineers, and research programmers and managers in Marina del Rey, California, Arlington, Virginia, and Waltham, Massachusetts. Please consult the USC employment site for current openings.

In addition, we periodically launch new research projects or directions. If you don’t see the right opening, but consider your skills and knowledge ideal for ISI, please submit a resume and letter describing your primary interests and/or research areas to ISI human resources.

ISI also offers a Researcher in Residence that provides talented researchers with the opportunity to pursue creative work for one to two years without extraneous encumbrances.

Research Staff Titles

To recognize the contributions of our researchers, ISI has created internal titles that reflect the expectations of and contributions made by our staff. These titles may be held in parallel with faculty titles, when appropriate.

Below are the current ISI research staff titles with the descriptions of the job responsibilities they entail. These require promotions beyond the USC staff title of Computer Scientist, which is the initial title granted to every researcher hired into ISI.

Research Engineer Titles

ISI research would not be possible without the software, hardware, and systems engineering that makes our systems work. To recognize the contributions of our research engineers, ISI has created job titles that reflect the expectations of and contributions made by those members of our staff who advance our research by designing and building our research systems, infrastructures, demonstrations, and prototypes. These job titles reflect ISI’s recognition of our engineers’ level of contribution to research projects.

See this news article describing ISI’s efforts to recognize the expertise and contributions of our staff on the research engineer track.

Below are the current USC/ISI research engineer titles with the descriptions of the job responsibilities they entail.

Research Affiliate Titles

ISI has working relationships with many people beyond its own faculty and staff. Two broad classes of such relationships are Affiliated Faculty at ISI and Affiliated Scientists at ISI. Affiliated Faculty are faculty at USC who have a close working relationship with ISI. Affiliated Scientists are researchers at other institutions, whether faculty or not, who collaborate closely with ISI. ISI members who are interested in sponsoring someone for such titles can find the details here.